Celebration time! The Cub Scout program update is finally here

Photo of a Cub Scout who is super excited to be a Cub Scout

The 2024 Cub Scout program update is here.

Officially announced last fall, the new program officially launched on Saturday and is effective immediately.

“Since the inception of Cub Scouting in 1930, the program has had some minor changes, but only a couple of milestone changes over the past 94 years,” says Anthony Berger, the national director of Cub Scouting. “From the creation of the Webelos and Tiger ranks, to the overhaul of the program in 2015 and the introduction of Cub Scout Adventures, this update marks the next milestone for Cub Scouting.”

If you participate in summer programming at the district or council level, expect them to be using the new Adventures. Units who do programming during the summer should use the updated Adventures as well.

What’s changing?

The overriding theme of the Cub Scout updates is “fun, simple and easy.”

That applies to Cub Scouts, their parents and adult leaders.

One example: fishing.

Fishing has always been part of the Cub Scout program. Only now, though, is it an actual Cub Scout Adventure.

“I am so excited that fishing is now an Adventure in every single rank,” says Mike Rooney, commissioner of the National Cub Scout Committee and the Cub Scouting Chair on the National Commissioner Service Team. “I’m a fisherman. I just got back from a fishing trip. And I’m so excited that fishing is available to every grade and every rank.”

Another thing that’s changing is the Bobcat Adventure. That’s right – instead of a rank that Cub Scouts only earn once, Bobcat is now an age-appropriate Adventure that Cub Scouts earn each year. As they get older, the requirements get more and more challenging.

Staples such as conservation and the outdoors remain a core part of the program as well.

“Outdoors, conservation and STEM are real passion points of mine,” says Audrey Oaks, chair of the National Cub Scout Committee. “I love to see how robust that is (in the new program) and I think that’s what a lot of parents are looking for.”

What’s not changing?

For one: the Scout Oath and Law. That was nonnegotiable.

The uniforms also are not changing.

But maybe most importantly, the overall goal of the Cub Scout program — character, citizenship, personal fitness and leadership — remain the same.

Cub Scouting’s values remain embedded in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Cub Scout motto, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake and salute, as they always have been.

Summer is here! What rank is my Cub Scout now?

Cub Scouts who just finished kindergarten are now Tiger Cub Scouts and can start work on the updated Tiger program from now all the way through next spring.

Cub Scouts who just finished first grade are now Wolves.

Cub Scouts who just finished second grade are now Bears.

Cub Scouts who just finished third grade are now Webelos.

Cub Scouts who just finished fourth grade are now Arrow of Light.

Children who begin kindergarten this fall can start working on the new Lion requirements once they start school in August or September.

Click here to learn more about the aims and methods of Cub Scouting.

Click here to find a pack near you.

About Aaron Derr 454 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.